Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary

It's been years since I listened to any Les Miz recording, so I was very happy to watch this DVD. The familiar songs brought back good memories. There are parts which are not available in the 10th anniversary concert, which is a good thing, because those who are new to this musical can understand more about the story. About the cast, I think the 10th anniversary concert has better cast.

In the 25th anniversary concert, I think Norm Lewis who plays Javert is very impressive. Alfie Boe, who plays Jean Valjean, is good, but not extra-ordinary, or at least that was I first thought. I thought Colm Wilkinson was better, until when Alfie Boe shows his true ability in singing Bring Him Home with Colm Wilkinson, John Owen Jones and Simon Bowman. Wow, he is great and deserves the standing ovation. Lea Salonga is very good as always; she and Jenny Galloway are the only cast member whom I have known before. Ramin Karimloo, who plays Enjolras, is very handsome; but I still prefer Michael Maguire.

I only once went overseas, and that was only because someone kindly paid for my air tickets & accommodation. That one time I went to London for 9 days and watched 2 musicals, one of them is The Phantom of The Opera, in which Ramin Karimloo played Raoul. In that one time, his mind seemed elsewhere and I thought he played badly. I still dislike him for ruining Raoul in that one time I was able to watch The Phantom of The Opera. For him it was perhaps only another night, but for me it was the only time I could watch that musical on stage. John Owen Jones played The Phantom and he was very very good and stood out among the cast and I still love him until now. [That was in the middle of September 1994.]

I have read that Michael Ball was in this 25th anniversary DVD, yet it was still a surprise to see that it actually had the whole Original 1985 London Cast. Together with the 25th anniversary cast, they sing 'One Day More', the last song in Act I. And being guests, they sing with more relaxed feeling [because the whole musical has a tragic nuance] and oh, what a happy situation it is, when The Thénardiers sing their part.

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